Counselor Imprisoned for Phantom Counseling

Counselor Imprisoned for Phantom Counseling

A Collierville woman is heading to prison after ripping off taxpayers for more than $600,000.
MEMPHIS, TN – A Collierville woman is heading to prison after ripping off taxpayers for more than $600,000.

Dr. Mechelle Toles, a counselor from Collierville, was sentenced to 36 months on Tuesday August 6, 2013 for TennCare fraud.

Even though Mechelle Toles repeated several times in statements to law enforcement that she didn’t need the money—she took it anyway.

Toles billed the TennCare system for hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of counseling she never performed.

But, Judge Jon McCalla found that with a negative net worth of $320,000—Toles did indeed, need the money.

The judge called her fraudulent billing practices “blatant and frequent.

Most of Toles’ business was referred from the Shelby County Juvenile Court. Her records were sloppy at best; completely falsified at worst.

Some examples: on 109 days the prosecution said she billed TennCare for more than 16 hours of unperformed counseling. On fifty other days she billed for more than 20 hours; and on 21 days she billed for more than 24 hours of counseling.

As the judge said—that’s impossible.

Toles was sentenced to three years in prison and ordered to repay all $603,000.

United States Attorney Edward L. Stanton was satisfied with that sentence.

“These were egregious acts,” Stanton told localmemphis.com, “and when you think of the true victims—certainly the taxpayers and public trust was violated—but more importantly, the children this doctor was supposed to counsel.”

Added Stanton: “This is a case where you can’t hide behind a white lab jacket or your credentials as a doctor. This should send a clear and unequivocal message to anyone who would defraud the government and taxpayers; ultimately you may get by for awhile—but you won’t get away.”

Toles requested incarceration at the women’s correctional facility in Aliceville, Alabama. She remains free until the Bureau of Prisons decides her ultimate destination.

Toles will be allowed to voluntarily surrender at that time.

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